If you read an earlier version of this article you may have noticed an entry that is now removed. Cough Drop the Beat submitted the following 'shop to this thread:

When I first saw this image I was happy to see what I thought of as an "old fashioned" 'shop. Turns out I didn't know just how old-fashioned: this is an old image!:

As first reported by Galaxander in our front-page discussion thread this image is actually several years old and comes from a different source: the earliest reference we could find was to a "paperback-paradise.com", but has been removed (since we discovered it, which is... weird). This plus Cough Drop the Beat's personal explanation, that they recreated the image on the advice of a friend who must have seen the original, makes for a polite if unsatisfying closing of the case (even if they did use the same source image, they matched the font exactly without referencing the original? Like even down to the compression artifacts? Hmm...). Cough Drop the Beat has admitted a mistake, we address it here, and we all move on. What happened exactly, we may never know.

It's an interesting case to come up now, as we say goodbye to the 2010's. Photoshop Phridays is all about new takes on old images, so threads like this one, that tread very familiar comedic ground, are tricky. Mistakes like these are reminders of just how much messy history is crammed into a couple decades of online image-manipulation, a phenomenon that has basically come to represent humor (especially stolen humor) online. We like to think the dark days of the Ebaum's raiders are behind us but a casual look at the average Facebook feed proves otherwise: watermarks get chopped off (or replaced, as we did), jokes get repeated and ruined in reformatting, credit is not given where credit is due, it's a sad state of affairs. The best joke online these days is the idea that the internet was going to usher in more accountability. Now that's a laugh riot.

On Photoshop Phridays we try our best to make sure the material we present is original, so please accept our apologies for the error. But the vigilance of the forums in self-policing is also to be commended: turns out there is somebody watching the watch-parrots.

– Ian "BFM" Helm

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